Men’s Basketball Slips Past Salve Regina Thursday, 73-66

Men’s Basketball Slips Past Salve Regina Thursday, 73-66

NEWPORT, R.I.- The Eastern Nazarene College men's basketball team staved off Salve Regina to earn a 73-66 victory on the road at the Rodgers Recreational Center Thursday evening.

The Lions improve to 13-1 on the season and 6-1 in the Commonwealth Coast Conference with the win. The Seahawks fall to 4-10 overall and 1-6 in league play with the loss.

Justin Wagner (Oklahoma City, Okla.) paced the visitors with 16 points on five three-pointers while also registering five steals. Jaylen Owens (Johns Creek, Ga.) finished with 14 points and four rebounds.

Christian Lynch (Alpharetta, Ga.) poured in 13 points and collected five rebounds off the bench. Alex Jarman (Portsmouth, R.I.) posted a double-double for the second consecutive game as he recorded 11 points and grabbed 10 boards.

After the hosts opened the game on a 6-2 run, Eastern Nazarene clawed back to claim a 9-6 lead with 16:10 left to play.

The guests stretched their advantage to 10 points with 11:23 on the clock as Justin Wagner buried a trey, 20-10.

The Lions widened the margin to 32-14 as Kyle Smith (Clovis, Calif.) converted a pair of free throws with 6:58 left to play in the first period.

Justin Wagner drilled a three-pointer with 12 seconds remaining in the half before Salve Regina's Barrett Hanlon sank two free throws with three seconds on the clock to shrink Eastern Nazarene's halftime lead to 43-28.

Justin Wagner led Eastern Nazarene with 15 first-half points while Jarman added eight points and four boards. Jeremy Wagner (Oklahoma City, Okla.) and Christian Lynch each netted five points through the opening 20 minutes.

The Lions boasted a field-goal percentage of 43.8% at the half while draining 50% of their shots from beyond the arc. The Seahawks shot 30% from the field in the first frame and sank 2-of-6 attempts from three-point distance.

The home team cut the deficit to 51-43 with 14:01 left to play in regulation as Hanlon banked in a layup.

Salve Regina narrowed the gap to two points with 6:53 remaining as Hanlon drained a lay-in.

Eastern Nazarene responded with five consecutive points to regain a seven-point edge, 65-58, with 5:12 left to play.

After the Seahawks' Scott St. Lawrence netted a pair of free throws with 1:50 on the clock to decrease the lead to three, 69-66, Christian Lynch nailed two shots from the charity stripe and came up with a steal before tossing in a fast-break layup to lock up the Lions' fourth straight win.

Eastern Nazarene shot 35% from the floor on the night while connecting on 35% of its three-point attempts. Salve Regina finished with a field-goal percentage of 39% on the night to go with 41.7% shooting from long range.

Looking ahead, the Lions will visit Gordon January 17 for a crucial conference contest.